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Teaching with AI

How to open the AI conversation in class

AI is something that is on everyone's minds, and it can be useful to start the discussion about AI in class by showing off its capabilities and limitations:

  • Play a game such as to introduce AI capabilities.
  • Have ChatGPT write part of your lecture.
  • Discuss the AI use syllabus statements and academic misconduct.
  • Show students a ChatGPT-written paper or discussion question and discuss its understanding. 

How to ethically use generative AI

Discuss AI and GPT with your students, including:

  • What the proper role of AI in writing is:
    • Encyclopedic knowledge: 
      • Have ChatGPT explain overarching concepts to help students find search terms and start their research. 
    • Outlines:
      • Have ChatGPT create an example outline to overcome the blank page and give ideas for writing.
    • Paraphrasing: 
      • Have ChatGPT phrase a concept a number of different ways to overcome writers block and inspire the paper. 
    • Editing:
      • Have ChatGPT edit student papers. 
  • Use AI in your teaching:
    • Play Refute the Robot:
      • Give students ChatGPT's response to a discussion question. Have students evaluate ChatGPT's arguments, and have them craft better arguments, or refutations. 
    • Ask ChatGPT to explain things another way for students:
    • Have ChatGPT explain a concept at a different level (i.e. 5 year old) and see how well students' understanding holds up. 
    • Have ChatGPT create discussion questions for students. 

AI-resistant assignments

While Generative AI is constantly getting more complex and capable, there are some assignments that it often struggles with. 

  • Give assignments that promote critical thinking:
    • Avoid generalizations: ChatGPT is often weak when required to give specific evidence.​
    • Require students to give connections beyond the material provided.
    • Require the involvement of personal experiences or emotional reactions to challenging content. 
  • Give alternative assignments or formats:
    • Consider using blue books.
    • Consider replacing a paper with an interview.
    • Annotated bibliographies ensure students have read their content.​
      • Ensure that students are annotating the significance of the resource in the context of that paper, not just summarizing it. ​